People Moves

Franklin Templeton Makes Leadership Changes

Amanda Cheesley Deputy Editor 22 May 2024

Franklin Templeton Makes Leadership Changes

California-based investment manager Franklin Templeton revamps its distribution leadership teams to strengthen its value proposition for its clients and add competitive advantage.

Franklin Templeton has named London-based Matt Harrison (pictured) as head of Americas (ex-US), Europe & UK, global advisory services, starting immediately.

Harrison will continue to report to Adam Spector, EVP, global advisory services, in his expanded role, the firm said in a statement. The combined region, which includes several markets such as Canada, Germany, Iberia, Italy, Latin America, and the UK, represents $245 billion in assets under management.

Harrison has been head of Europe and UK and co-head of APAC and managing director of Australia since joining Franklin Templeton in 2018.  Prior to joining the firm, he worked in senior roles at various firms including Colonial First State, Commonwealth Bank and ING. He has over 25 years of experience within the financial services industry and has developed client relationships across many markets including Asia, Australia, Europe, India, Japan, and the UK, the firm added. 

As part of the leadership changes, Andrew Ashton has been named head of UK; he will continue his responsibilities as chairman of the board of Franklin Templeton Canada. From August 2024, Ashton will report to Harrison and will relocate to London to assume responsibility for the UK business, subject to regulatory approval. 

Under his expanded remit, Ashton will continue to be responsible for Canada which, coupled with the UK, collectively represents $76 billion in assets under management.  Prior to his new role, he served as head of Americas (ex-US) and head of the global financial institutions group at Franklin Templeton. Ashton has over 25 years of experience in the asset management industry. 

In Europe, Madrid-based Javier Villegas has been named head of Iberia and Latin America, global advisory services, starting in October, the firm said. The expanded Iberia and Latin America region, which represents $77 billion in AuM, includes oversight for Americas Offshore, Brazil, Central America, Iberia, and South America. Previously, Villegas was director of global financial institutions in the Americas and most recently head of Iberia. Prior to joining Franklin Templeton in 2005, he worked at Santander Private Banking as a private banker. He has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.

In addition to the new appointments, London-based Martyn Gilbey, head of UK, will leave the firm in October 2024 after seven years. 

"In recent years, we've substantially expanded our investment capabilities, strengthening our value proposition for our clients,” Spector said. “Our extensive global presence continues to be a competitive advantage, reinforcing our commitment to and confidence in local markets.”

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